Reader Question: I love Shake Shack as much as the next guy, but I waited an hour and fifteen minutes from the end of the not-that-long line until I had my burger, and I’m just not sure I want to continue doing that on a regular basis.  What are my excellent burger options that don’t involve waiting in line?

I’m glad you asked, mystery reader.  As it happens, I’m on record as saying my favorite burger in NYC is Corner Bistro’s, and this usually necessitates some kind of waiting in line, too – a task that I seem to have less enthusiasm for lately, too.

The answer may be at hand, however – I happened to have a super-excellent burger this weekend that didn’t involve more than the usual 10-minute entrée wait.  The source of this deliciousness?  Donovan’s Pub in Woodside, Queens (57-24 Roosevelt Avenue under the 7 tracks).  My USC-bound friend and I were headed to the Mets’ game on Friday and needed to get a solid foundation under us for the 7 innings of drinking that were sure to follow.  Donovan’s obliged with the only iteration of the bacon cheeseburger I’ve ever truly liked.

Now, before you start the fire to burn me at the stake, let me just say that I don’t have anything against bacon, except for the fact that I rarely truly enjoy it in its American form.  Maybe it’s the quality of the meat, or maybe it’s the fact that it’s either leathery or cooked within an inch of its life, but bacon drives me nuts, usually.

Not so at Donovan’s – the bacon was tender, not too crispy, and full of flavor.  Perhaps this was a different or higher-quality cut – I’ll have to go back for another to inspect it more closely.  On Friday, glued to the sloppy, juicy, perfectly-cooked burger with a slice of American cheese, it disappeared too quickly for extensive critical evaluation.

For the pork-phobic, the naked burger would also do nicely.  The meat is of high quality and the patty is clearly hand-patted.  Sautéed onions are available on request, and bleu cheese seemed also to be a menu option, if you like your cheese with a little more pungency.

Next time I go back, I might try a “bleu bacon” burger – it’s like the Training Table favorite, except actually halfway decent.  With any array of toppings, Donovan’s burger makes an excellent pre-game meal AND has no line to speak of.  What could be better?


Filed under NYC

7 responses to “Burgerbajagal.

  1. The Donovan’s burger is so good that I love it despite its oversized pub-style self. So good, beefy, and juicy. Mmm…. ada;lda;shrhasd gharhgh.

  2. That’s what I’m talking about – the kind of burger that makes even Adam type gibberish into his keyboard. High praise, indeed.

  3. Anonymous

    Have you eaten a Quad at Schnack yet? Do it. And yes, it comes with *good* bacon.

  4. Usually get two doubles there, which I guess is similar. Perhaps I’ll try the bacon next time.

  5. Mike, when in the hell did you go to training table?

  6. Anonymous

    This is a good Shake Shack week, the weather will limit the crowds.

  7. krissi – grew up (partially) in SLC. So, sometime between 1989 and 1999, and maybe on a vacation since then. 🙂

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